Curl Care 101: Building a Healthy Hair Regimen for Maximum Growth

Welcome back loves! I'm so glad you've decided to accompany me in this Curl Care 101 endeavor. Just in case you missed it last Thursday, click here to learn about deciphering your true texture. 

This week, it's all about regimen building. While subsequent weeks of this series will focus in on particular aspects of your regimen with all the juicy details (like deep conditioning or moisturizing), today's topic is all about that overall idea of what a healthy hair regimen entails, and how to build one for yourself that works.

Before we get all into the yummy bits of regimen building, let's start with defining what a regimen is:

A regulated course, as of diet, exercise, or manner of living, intended to preserve or restore health or to attain some result.

The dictionary is a beautiful thing, ain't it?

Some people wonder why I'm so sensitive and intentional about words, and it's because I care about their proper use and context. But that's another lesson for another day at another grammar rodeo. Let's talk about the important bits of this definition, and how it applies to growing our natural hair:
  • a regulated course - this ain't no one-shot deal or overnight sensation. It requires a focused path and consistency.
  • preserve or restore health - you've joined Curl Care 101 for this reason, yeah?
  • attain some result - I think it's safe to say we all want longer, thicker, healthier hair.
Don't ever let anyone tell you dictionaries are useless! Now that we've set the framework, I'd like to approach regimen building in a more strategic fashion that directly correlates to a set of goals. It's the program manager in me taking over, but just ride with me. Since we gleaned from our definition that we'd like to preserve, restore health, and attain some result, I think we can all agree that the goal of a healthy hair regimen is two-fold for us naturalistas:
  1. Length Retention (maximizing growth, minimizing breakage, holding on to more hair)
  2. Improved Health (as indicated by shine, strength, elasticity, and thickness)
Unfortunately, some product and vitamin brands want you to think the solution to all of your natural hair woes can be found in their bottle or jar. Let this product junkie be the first to tell you that is a lie (in my Maury voice). No one product or pill can single-handedly turn your natural hair journey around. Can it improve things? Yes, but without comprehensive care, your efforts are in vain and your money goes down the drain.

Now, back to our goal oriented-ness. Whatever regimen we build needs to keep our definition of regimen at heart and link directly back to our two goals. I am a firm believer that we can reach our goals of length retention and healthy hair by getting a hold of three areas in natural hair care:
  1. Restoring Hydration//Retaining Moisture
  2. Gentle Hair Handling
  3. Proper PM Care
Restoring Hydration
Hands down, the number one "help me" that lands in my inbox is about rescuing overly dry hair. Dryness chronically plagues women with natural hair because unlike our straight haired counterparts, the sebum our scalp produces has a harder time meandering down the shaft to provide that moisture and protection from the elements. Compound that with the fact that many of us have either incredibly low or incredibly high porosity hair, and we've got the recipe for desert-like hair and breakage city. So how does one restore hydration and retain moisture in the hair? It starts with a solid wash day regimen. On the path to healthy hair, maximum growth, and retaining length,  your wash day should always include the following:
  • A pre-poo mix of penetrating oils, conditioner, or both: The penetrating oils (like coconut) and conditioners penetrate the surface of the hair, moisturizing internally and prepare the hair for cleansing by improving elasticity, softness, and malleability. Pre-pooing with oils like coconut also ensure that less protein is lost in the wash process, which leads to less cuticle damage and breakage in the long-run.
  • A gentle, yet effective cleanser: One of the problems with shampoos is that many of them with harsh detergents can rob the hair of moisture. One too many uses with the wrong shampoo, and you'll notice your hair drying out and deteriorating over time. Between cowashing and shampooing, I don't advocate one over the other -- I believe they both have a place in any healthy hair regimen. I find that my hair is at its healthiest when I co-wash for 3 weeks, and use shampoo every 4th week of the month. That way, I get the gentle cleansing and moisture infusing benefits of cowashing (Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle and Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner are my favorites for this) all month long, and move into the next month with a clean slate. Shampooing is vital to preventing buildup, and maintaining scalp health. Just make sure your shampoo is sulfate-free and contains a blend of natural oils and butters to help keep the hair soft and moisturized. My two favorite shampoos are TGIN Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo and Ouidad Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo. 
  • A quality deep conditioner: Moisturizing, strengthening, or both? I personally prefer to get my moisture-protein balance on the regular, and you should too (unless your hair is protein sensitive...God bless you). A great deep conditioner will have a seamless water-based blend with fatty alcohols to soften the hair, slip agents, humectants, oils/butters, protein, and vitamins that work cohesively to penetrate, soften, add shine, strengthen, improve elasticity, patch up damage, add moisture, and lay the cuticle layer smooth. If your deep conditioner cannot perform all of the above, it's time for a new deep conditioner. Here's a few I recommend.
  • A leave-in: For the love of Jesus, please don't skip your leave-in. Whether it's re-applying some co-wash conditioner or using a specifically-formulated leave-in, just make sure it gets done because leave-ins are the cornerstone to long-term moisture retention. Depending upon your styling goal and hair type, your leave-in can range from a watery spray to a thick, lotion-like conditioner. Click here to see my favorite leave-ins!
  • A moisturizer and sealant: There are different ways to use moisturizers and sealants beyond the LOC and LCO methods, depending on your styling goals, hair type, and leave-in used. Some leave-ins are more moisturizing than others, and you can get away with going straight to sealing and styling, and use a moisturizer in the coming days. Other leave-ins require a moisturizing, water-based cream and then a sealant (LCO). I personally do not advocate the LOC method (although if it works for you, then keep doing it by all means), because it doesn't make sense to me. I can't see the sense in applying a water-based cream to hair that you've already added an occlusive (oil or butter) on. It seems to me that you'd apply everything with water in it first, then lock it all in with an oil or butter. But maybe that's just me. Click here for my favorite moisturizers!
Gentle Hair Handling
All your hydration restoring and moisture retention efforts will be for naught if you don't handle your hair properly. I almost exclusively finger detangle, because I find that it is the most gentle on my strands, and I end up losing less hair and suffering less breakage. Some do not have the patience to finger detangle, and that's perfectly okay. If you're going to use combs and brushes to detangle, make sure you:
  • thoroughly coat the hair in something with tons of slip -- water and conditioner, water and oil, oil, flaxseed gel, something.
  • work in small sections, combing hair with gentleness and patience from end to root. Don't yank any tools through your hair at, ever.
  • turn on Netflix. You'll need at least 2 or 3 episodes of something to keep you entertained, because detangling is tedious. I highly recommend Orange is the New Black, The Blacklist, House of Cards, Scandal, and of course, re-runs of American Dad or Family Guy.
You can also feel free to detangle your hair in the shower with a slippy conditioner (Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle is THE TRUTH for this) in sections as well. That's what I do -- while listening to my jams on Spotify.

While we're on the topic of gentle hair handling, let's talk styling really quickly. Whatever style you choose to do -- twist-outs, braid-outs, buns, updos, ponytails, frohawks -- do them with patience, care, and attention. Securing any sort of styling tool to your hair too tightly is a recipe for headaches, breakage, scalp soreness, and sometimes hair loss. Yes girl, that puff is fly -- but if it makes you look surprised all day, then don't be surprised when #themedges are gone. Just be mindful and style gently.

Proper PM Care
You should have a nighttime routine for your hair that involves more than just laying down and going to sleep. Do you have to re-twist your hair nightly, or set it on fifty-leven perm rods before bed? No (and I wouldn't recommend that much manipulation anyways). Make sure you invest in a satin pillowcase and scarf or bonnet. They prevent the friction and moisture-robbing cotton pillowcases from plaguing you in the nighttime. Before you throw either scarf or bonnet on, feel your hair. Does it feel dry, or is it still moisturized? Being out in dry or cold air can take a toll on the hair, and it is important to restore moisture to your hair at nighttime. If needed, apply water-based moisture (in the form of a spray or butter cream) and a sealant to your hair with a light hand. We will touch more on what that looks like later.

Now that you've got a pretty good handle on what makes a good regimen, let's get to what you all came here for: an infographic. Be sure to pin it, love on it, print it out, share it on social media, and of course -- tag me in it!

Note: This regimen is just an example, and the products shown are examples as well (although of course, I use them all -- except that pesky avocado and banana lol). You can take the essence and principles of the regimen and tweak them to your liking (or frequency), or just adopt it out right. Either way, let me know how it goes and I hope you found this helpful! Infographics are time consuming, and I wanted to get this one just right for you all.

Stay tuned for next week --  we're going to get more in-depth with pre-pooing and detangling!


  1. Extremely helpful!

  2. My hair sheds like crazy is it anything you recommend?

  3. Hi Gigi! For starters, does your hair always shed like crazy, or is it more of a sudden onset thing? You may need to visit your doctor, as excessive shedding can be a symptom of something else (not to scare you). I recommend the ApHogee 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor (it helped decrease my shedding). Here's my review:

    You might also be interested in MSM (the supplement), as it has been shown to lengthen the growth cycle of the hair (reducing shedding). Check with your doctor prior to starting any supplement regimen, because some supplements do interfere with prescribed medications. Good luck!

  4. It started when I was transitioning which I expected. I transitioned for 18 months finally cut the last relaxed ends January 2014 and it's been shedding ever since. I thought that after I cut all of the relaxer off it would stop shedding. Now I will say that it doesn't shed as much as it did in the beginning but it seems to still shed more than I would like. I've went to a stylist she said it was normal I've been to the doctor and they said it's no underlining issue so I'm going to take your advice and try the products thanks for replying.

  5. At least I know I'm on the right track with my regimen.... very helpful!

  6. I recently became aware of your website along with wished to point out i have got definitely appreciated looking at your website posts. Any way I will be opting-in on your give along with I am hoping anyone publish all over again soon. A wonderful business presentation. Very open up along with educational. You might have beautifully offered your own imagined within this writing.Health and Tips

  7. Awesome and fascinating written work! A debt of gratitude is in order for the tips! don't hesitate to send me your next blog entry. What you are expounding on is well done.
    Send me information health new blog posting inf02gethernewsupdate"

  8. A debt of gratitude is in order for the read i additionally do hair professionally and full time and will share your webpage on my site when its posted on the off chance that you might want to network reach me and we can trade thoughts on hair and hair items.

    Dry Skin

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Vitamin B5 is often a water soluble vitamin. the particular basically means The item it\'s side effects, similar to diarrhea IN ADDITION TO stomach irritation, usually are rather rare AND mild ALONG WITH will probably disappear certainly whether or not an individual stop the acne treatment regimen. if you do decide for you to proceed moving your own vitamin treatment, however, the side effects can eventually disappear. You may additionally drink numerous water to be able to lessen your own severity of any side effects or even down your own vitamin dosage.

  11. Hi,

    I love the tips you have shared in this article. Thanks for sharing such wonderful tips

  12. Today, it is just about the effective ways to deal with your hair issues when highly damaged but one should never think of using until and unless they can protect their hairs.

    Hair maturity

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. The letter of intent pharmacy residency is quite perfect deal and combination for the people who care a lot for their health.

  15. Good way to help the peoples hair loss is biggest problem in all over the world i advised you to visit our site and get more important info about hair loss problem.

    Hair Loss Supplements For Women
    Protein Supplements For Hair Loss

  16. Thanks for site because this site very informative for all women in the world.An excellent solution which can be found for anyone who is suffering from the damaged scalp and hair issues is the silk base lace closure.

    Survival Skill for Physical Fitness

  17. Very helpful integration of information beneficial to get healthy hair in natural way. .If you want healthy and shiny hair then you need daily care for that. Using expensive cosmetics only can not better treat you hair. It is very important that it is included in you daily hair care routine.

    Here in this section we are giving you some easy hair care routine maintaining tips. What should I Include In My Hair Care Routine

  18. Having healthy hair has never been a high priority for me, mostly because I didn't know about it. Until I got married that is, and then my wife told me all about hair care. After she should me your article, she helped restore my hair's hydration, and it looks a lot better now. So thanks!

  19. Today Hair loss is one of the most common problems faced by millions of people all over the world. As we see that a large number of peoples has the problem with their hairs problems like whiteness, blandness and weak hairs.

    Cheap hair transplant clinic in London |
    Hair transplant clinic in Birmingham

  20. It's a reality that there is no remedy for hair reduction. So if you're building a hairless spot or your hair is loss a bit, nothing short a hair implant can deliver a long lasting solution.The excellent news is that there are various types of products and solutions that can immediately hide hair loss, and cover up balding.

    Survival Skill for Physical Fitness

  21. Health and beauty starts with beautiful hair. Thanks for sharing this tutorials to building our healthy hair.

  22. The personal statement pharmacy school is quite interesting to know when you the letter becomes important to write.

  23. Thank you very much for sharing this nice information. I like your blog.

    ☻Free Apple Watch☻

  24. Very informative blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Keep loss

  25. Wow.. Its look stunning. hair transplant is a method and a best surgery to regain lost hairs naturally. In India AVENUES COSMETIC is best clinic for hair transplant in affordable prices.

    Ahmedabad Hair Transplant

  26. Great tips thanks for sharing this valuable article.. Hair regrowth is a challenging target for people. Considering the falling quality of diet, pollution falling hair, baldness or thin hair have become a huge problem for all. While taking a healthy diet is desirable, applying other natural remedies like olive oil or castor oil also helps.

  27. Thank you for your post. It is very important for us.If you want more information about health please Click here

  28. Thank you for your post. It is very important for us. If you want more information about health please Click here

  29. Thanks for sharing this post, excellent

  30. The article has a lot of interesting information.

  31. I'm impressed, I must say. Actually rarely can i encounter a blog that's both educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you could have hit the nail about the head. Your idea is outstanding; the thing is something that too few individuals are speaking intelligently about. We are delighted that we came across this around my try to find some thing with this.토토사이트